The push to lift the decades-old ban on exporting U.S. crude oil gained monumental ground this week now that a deal has been secured with Iran regarding its nuclear program, introducing a process that will allow Iran to freely sell oil on the world market. This comes at a critical time as proponents of lifting the ban voice their concern in higher numbers, joining PESA and allied industry trade associations in their call to allow U.S. oil producers to access that same global market.
“This outdated trade restriction is costing Americans billions of dollars in lost wages and productivity,” said PESA President Leslie Beyer. “Repealing the ban is imperative not only for our industry, but for the entire U.S. economy.”
The Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) and the International Union of Operating Engineers came out in support of lifting the ban via a letter signed by 20 business and supply chain trade associations:
“Opening global markets to U.S. producers will support added domestic production that will create hundreds of thousands of new jobs and contribute tens of billions of GDP dollars in the supply chain within the next few years.”
On June 9th The U.S. House Subcommittee on Energy and Power held a hearing on H.R. 702, Legislation to Prohibit Restriction on Crude Oil Exports. Witnesses focused on the economic, geopolitical and natural security benefits to be gained by overturning the ban – including saving consumers money at the pump. Rep. Joe Barton, who sponsored H.R. 702, concluded the hearing by saying that the legislation has a “real chance to be marked-up.”
The U.S. House Agriculture Committee also held a hearing that demonstrated bipartisan support for lifting the ban and the economic benefits it would bring to rural America. Chairman Michael Conaway (R-TX) noted, “Job growth and wage increases are obvious benefits of expanding activity in the oil industry. But, rural communities also benefit in indirect ways, as well – land owners receive lease payments, residents have more disposable income to spend at stores and restaurants, and local governments see increases in sales, property, and income tax revenue. In fact, if the ban were lifted today, we would see close to a million jobs created over the next few years.”